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Cornell Capa

May 23, 2008

Cornell Capa has passed away in New York at the age of ninety.

For those of you my age, or older, his legacy is something I need not describe. Brother of the legendary war photographer Robert Capa, Cornell was profoundly influential in the history of photography, a true hub of creativity and power that many of us owe much of our histories to. I had nothing to do with Cornell, never met him, spoke with him, etc, but I feel many of the opportunities I have had, were in some way traceable to the sphere of this man, and others like him.

For the young photographers out there, if you don’t know who this was, you owe it to photography to go and find out. It is cliche of me to say this, but I’ll say it anyway. There really aren’t many, if any, people like this coming along. Our industry has changed, caught up in the minute attention span of the modern world, growing shallower and shallower each day as the depth of creativity evaporates before our eyes.

“I am not an artist, and I never intended to be one,” he wrote in the 1992 book “Cornell Capa: Photographs.” “I hope I have made some good photographs, but what I really hope is that I have done some good photo stories with memorable images that make a point, and, perhaps, even make a difference.”

This from a guy who FOUNDED The International Center of Photography.

Let’s hope his life’s work will be preserved in books and features for years to come.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. jim permalink
    May 24, 2008 2:40 pm

    you are right Dan, it’s a huge loss, and reminds us of what the profession is becoming. I haven’t been active for many years, but Capa and others represented a great wealth of experience, dignity, and knowledge. I am reminded of another great loss on just the 20th of March. Phillip Jones Griffiths. It’s been a tough year for photography. A incredible interview by Aperture just before he died: http://www.aperture.org/jonesgriffiths

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